| Jolly Solly |

Putting Things Right

Crash! went the craft kits, as the carousel toppled over. Bang! went the puzzle boxes, as the pile slid to the ground


Tully’s Toy Shop boasted a new, eye-catching window display. Tully was hoping it would attract lots of customers in the run-up to Rosh Hashanah.

There was a stack of toy shofars, a pile of Jewish puzzles, and a revolving carousel of craft kits with an apple-and-honey theme.

As well as the seasonal items, there was a selection of new battery-operated toys, including a mechanical mouse spinning on its treadwheel.

Lots of passersby stopped outside the toy shop to admire the window display. Many then made the decision to enter the store, as a result of which Tully’s cash register started ringing merrily away.

Things were going swimmingly, until disaster struck. A furry animal ran into the shop. As Tully looked up in astonishment, the customers began to shriek and run out. Tully quickly identified the culprit: the ginger cat who lived near Sunny Lane. Although he often padded harmlessly past the shop on his cat-errands, today the creature seemed to have gone berserk. He dived right into the window display, heading for the mechanical mouse that had caught his attention.

Crash! went the craft kits, as the carousel toppled over. Bang! went the puzzle boxes, as the pile slid to the ground. Smash! went the shofars, as the stack collapsed.

Tully tried to catch the cat, but it had taken fright at all the crashing and banging, and was running round like a mad thing, knocking more and more toys off the shelves.

At last, a brave customer held the shop door open, and managed to lure the cat out.

Tully closed the door with a firm click, and looked around him in dismay. What a disaster! How would he ever get the place back to rights? And even if he did, it surely wouldn’t be before Rosh Hashanah, which meant he would lose out on all the pre-Yom Tov trade. Nobody would be interested in toy shofars or apple-and-honey kits after Rosh Hashanah. Tully put his head into his hands.

Dimly, he heard the door jangle as a new customer came in. Tully didn’t even look up. He had nothing to offer; the place was a disaster zone.

Somebody was gently humming a tune. Tully raised his head, about to give an earful to whoever it was, when he spotted his dear friend Jolly Solly, with a look of deep concern on his face.

“I heard about what happened, and I’m here to help,” declared the clown.

“But what can you do?” asked Tully despairingly. “It’s not something you can put right with one of your clever tricks. It needs a whole team of people to sort out.”

The clown listened sympathetically.

“Well, while I don’t have a team of people, I do have some great helpers. By hook or by crook, we’re going to get you back on track!”

Jolly Solly’s phone pinged, and he flung the shop door open. In marched Eli the animal trainer, with an excited Tuki perched on his shoulder, and Manny the monkey following behind. The clown locked the door behind them to prevent anyone else from entering.

As Tully watched in astonishment, the clown started scooping up the items from the window display — most of which were, fortunately, intact — juggling them in the air, and then releasing them. Tully was amazed to see how each item ended unerringly in its place.

Eli directed Tuki and Manny in putting the other items back on the shelves. There was a slight hitch when Manny spotted a toy banana and tried to bite it. Tuki gave him a warning peck and screeched like an express train. Eli had to quickly step in to restore order, but things went smoothly after that, and soon the store looked good as new. The mechanical mouse was tucked safely away behind the counter.

Tully was tearfully thanking Jolly Solly and Eli, when he heard a commotion outside the store. He stared in astonishment. Why, there were hordes of customers crowding around outside! It looked like the whole town had come to see the clown and his helpers in action. With a flourish, Jolly Solly opened the door. Tully quickly took his place behind the till, and queues immediately formed for what soon turned out to be the busiest day ever for the toy shop.

Jolly Solly and Eli grinned at each other as they made their way out of the store. Manny waved cheekily goodbye at the delighted customers, while Tuki puffed out his chest proudly.

“Hip, hip, hooray!” he screeched.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 876)

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